Absolutely no laughing matter for the likes of Rachel Maddow and others who have now spent years locked deep in their ‘Russiagate’ navel-gazing, but at least Putin still hasn’t lost his sense of humor about it.
While speaking on a panel of industry and political leaders at the Russian Energy Week conference, Putin mocked reports already alleging Moscow plans to interfere in the 2020 US presidential election. When pressed by NBC News correspondent Keir Simmons over whether former Special Counsel Robert Mueller was accurate in predicting Russia would “attempt to interfere” in the 2020 election, Putin leaned forward in a gesture to act like he was whispering a ‘secret’:
“I’m going to tell you a secret,” Putin said, leaning forward.
“Yes, we will definitely intervene, don’t tell anybody” he continued to an applauding crowd.
“You know, we have enough of our own problems,” Putin continued. “We are engaged in resolving internal problems and are primarily focused on this.”
His characteristic public sarcasm was a hit with the crowd, at an event which included OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo and others. He followed on a more serious note by calling it “ridiculous” that Russia would interfere in the 2020 election.
He also talked down his relationship and interactions with President Trump, describing that the two leaders have never been close.